Spring break partying sure is great, but sometimes you need to use those five vacation days for a little rest and relaxation. And the good news is you don't have to break the bank in order to achieve personal nirvana, because these are seven health and wellness spring break retreats that you can actually afford.
If you're looking to stay stateside, consider heading to Colorado where you can breathe in mountain air as you nourish your mind and body with yoga and meditation sessions courtesy of the Shambhala Mountain Center. If you thrive on sunshine, head to Tassajara in Carmel Valley, California where you can hike a variety of trails accented with colorful birds, butterflies, and wildflowers. Or if you're itching to go abroad, book super cheap flights through studentuniverse.com and head down to Jamaica for some seaside yoga, saltwater spa treatments, and clean Caribbean eating. Visit Negril's Tensing Pen for a rejuvenating body scrub with sea salt and apricot — or travel down to Treasure Beach for a week-long stint at Jake's where you can pamper yourself with an intuitive bodywork massage and coconut cream wrap at their open-air Driftwood Spa.
Whether you're looking for a challenging yoga session, an inspirational hike, or a relaxing soak, these affordable health and wellness retreats can provide exactly what you need to recharge those mid-semester batteries.
Nestled along the rugged Caribbean coastline, Jake's is a hippy-chic boutique resort, offering everything from yoga and qigong to farm tours and cooking classes — all at very affordable prices. Yogis can book a retreat with a top instructor, or attend à la carte classes atop the driftwood-enclosed yoga deck surrounded by 180 degree views of the Caribbean Sea. Food enthusiasts can feed the mind and body with private tours of the local patchwork farmland, known for providing the bespoke resort's bounty of scotch bonnet peppers, among several other fresh fruits and vegetables. You can even book private cooking lessons with Jake's incredible on-site chefs who will teach you the ins and outs of traditional Jamaican staples like authentic jerk seasoning and pickled fish sauce. With room rates as low as $95 per night you can even book expedited airport concierge via Club Mobay.
Although Iceland may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of spring break, the country's abundance of all natural geothermal spas does make it a top candidate for anyone in need of a little rest and relaxation. Lauded as one of National Geographic's "25 Wonders of the World," the Blue Lagoon's mineral-rich geothermal seawater has developed an international reputation for its healing effects on the skin, and for good reason — the combination of naturally occurring minerals, silica, and algae are known to stimulate collagen synthesis, the process that gives skin its smooth, youthful appearance. The standard rate of €40 ($44) is a rather small price to pay for four hours in a 100-degree, nine million-liter fountain of youth.
Spanning more than seven acres 4,900 feet above sea level, Pura Vida Retreat and Spa is where you go to find peace in the clouds. The resort's customized three, five, and seven-night mind-body-spirit packages include everything from room accommodations and meals to yoga sessions, massages, eco-adventures, and guided coffee plantation hikes. They even throw in round trip airport transfers to boot. Package rates start as low as $655 per person and nightly rates start at $115.
Carved into the spectacular limestone cliffs of Negril's West End, this boutique Jamaican resort offers a wide range of health and wellness services including Japanese hot stone massage, brown sugar-cocoa butter body scrub, and seaside yoga. Start your day off by awakening your muscles with an Iyengar yoga class, paying special attention to your alignment, balance, and breathing. Then head to the open-air dining house for a traditional (and healthy) Jamaican breakfast of saltfish, ackee, and callaloo. Enjoy an afternoon swim in the crystal clear Caribbean before capping off your day with a full body deep tissue massage. Accommodation rates start at $120 per night and yoga and spa services can be added for an additional charge.
Located in a serene 600-acre valley surrounded by the majestic Colorado Rockies, the Shambhala Mountain Center offers over 100 different wellness programs featuring everything from Shambhala teachings and indigenous wisdom traditions to body awareness practices, contemplative arts, and mindful living. All classes are taught by an array of accomplished practitioners and teachers who are able to cater to both beginner and advanced students. Accommodation rates start at $79 per person per night and include three meals a day.
Maya Tulum says it best... "Come be barefoot for a week in guacamole heaven." This beachfront resort located on the iconic Yucatan Peninsula hosts dozens of various yoga and meditation-themed retreats throughout the year. In March, Jennifer Schelter will lead the Yoga Schelter Radiant Retreat which includes an inspirational week of mindfulness meditation, Vinyasa yoga classes, creative writing practice, evening candlelit yoga, three gourmet meals per day, and thatched-roof cabana accommodations. The Radiant Retreat package rate starts at $2,165 per person.
Situated in a mountain valley just inland from the iconic Big Sur coast, Tassajara is one of the three practice communities that comprise the San Francisco Zen Center. If you're looking for a later break, beginning in April, Tassajara offers Engaging Earth Retreats with a special focus on nature, wildflowers, and the culinary arts. Whether you sign up for "Cooking and Gardening in the Heart of Tassajara" or the "Zen of Baking," you will have the opportunity to practice bringing the art of Zen more fully into your daily life as you grow more intimate with Tassajara's gardens and kitchen. Retreat rates start at $225.